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The Area Code Class System

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LAist knows that if you live in Los Angeles (or its surrounding areas) and have a telephone, you have one of the following area codes: 310, 323, 213, 818, 805, 626 and/or 714/949. LAist also knows that if you don't have 310, 323, 213 or 818 — you might as well never give anyone your phone number because they're never going to call you, visit you or think about fostering a friendship with you.Why? The LA area code class system.

Really, you're pushing it if you have the 818 area code (serving the Valley) — but anyone even on the cusp of Los Angeles county like our friends in 805 (Ventura/Thousand Oaks), 626 (Pasadena) and hour-long commuters from the O.C. (714/949) might as well hang out with their own kind (a.k.a. their neighbors) because more devastating than violence, bigotry or indifference, the area code class system has seemingly shaped the Los Angeles experience for longer than anyone has documented.

The reasons behind such a class system stems from the one thing Angelenos have had enough of: traffic. Traffic makes the driving experience hellish. The driving experience reduces the quality of one's life. Having to drive from one's own 310 area code to see a potential romantic interest or casual friend in the not-so-desireable area code regions, well, is an idea subconsciously quashed by local residents.

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The activities and customs of local Angelenos, whether you like to hear it or not, is always motivated by travel time. It shapes one's weekend activities, place of employment, financial standing and current circle of friends. And with three simple digits, the telephone system has provided locals the quick-and-easy opportunity to gauge whether or not someone should be added to that list of "important folks."

We have been brainwashed, people. Can't you see that?

Personally, LAist is an equal opportunity subconscious area-code judger, and would be more than happy to foster friendships with people even from as far as Pasadena. That is, as long as you're willing to drive to the Westside.